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Date of last update: 8/24/2017.

Forum Name: Psychiatric Topics

Question: PTSD?

 breakme - Tue Aug 24, 2010 12:09 am

I have to give you a little background history, to get out all the information.

I was raped about a year ago. I've been trying to deal with it the best I can, and I'm doing a lot better. I still struggle with it at times, but I'm better.

My real dad also liked to get a little touchy.

I had all this in a place where it wasn't bothering me, but the past week has been terrible. My boyfriend is really concerned because I have four bruises on the insides of my thighs. Three on my left leg, they are lined up just like finger prints. and one of my left leg, its looks the same. I've been having a lot of pain in between my legs, like the pain I got when I was raped. I've been so sensitive to anything that has to do with sex or anything along those lines lately. It seems like something may have happened, but I don't remember anything, at all.

Could this just be PTSD messing with my head? Whats going on with me?
 Faye Lang, RN, MSW - Fri Sep 03, 2010 12:19 am

Hello breakme,

I'm so sorry to hear about your experiences. PTSD is certainly a possibility, since you appear to meet the criteria for that diagnosis. However, since we cannot actually see or speak with you, any such diagnosis would have to be made by a doctor or mental health professional. I'll give you an outline of the criteria, to best help you report your condition to your doctor.

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder results when a person has experienced an event that is outside the range of usual human experience that would be very distressing to essentially anyone, such as a threat to one's life or physical integrity (rape could be either or both). The event is persistently reexperienced in at least one of the following ways: recurrent and intrusive distressing recollections of the event, recurrent distressing dreams of the event, sudden acting or feeling as if the trauma was recurring, or intense psychological distress at exposure to events that resemble an aspect of the traumatic event, including anniversaries of the trauma. The person tries to avoid stimuli associated with the trauma or has a numbing of general responsiveness as indicated by at least 3 of the following: avoiding thoughts or feelings associated with the trauma, avoiding activities or situations that make the person recall the trauma, inability to recall an important aspect of the trauma, markedly less interest in significant activities, having a feeling of detachment or estrangement from others, restricted feelings and range of affect, or a sense of a constricted future, as not expecting to have a career, marriage, children, or a long life. The symptoms result in at least two of the following: difficulty falling or staying asleep, irritability or anger outbursts, difficulty concentrating, hypervigilance, exaggerated startle response, or a physiologic reactivity when exposed to events that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the trauma. The duration of all of these symptoms that may apply must be present for at least one month.

Your doctor can examine you and evaluate if there has been further physical trauma, which can help you begin to discover if anything has happened that you don't recall. If you have not seen a rape counselor or a therapist, it would be a good thing to consider. A mental health professional would be able to help you process your thoughts to facilitate your recall.

There really is no "just" PTSD. It is a real and serious condition following a significant traumatic event; if that turns out to be your diagnosis, there is help available through both medication and psychotherapy.

Good luck to you.

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